Harvesting herbs from a rooftop garden, digging for composting worms, cooking colorful and seasonal lunches, shopping at the local farmers market… Welcome to a day in the life of a camper at Butter Beans Food & Garden Summer Camp!

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Butter Beans campers whipped up a quinoa tabbouleh salad!

This week marked the launch of our 4th annual Food & Garden Summer Camp, and our campers have certainly enjoyed an adventure-filled first week. Each day we explored what it means to eat a rainbow of foods, from cooking a vibrantly pink beet pesto spaghetti, to learning about a rainbow of nutrients at SweetGreen restaurant, to a farmers market scavenger hunt in search of fruits and vegetables across the color spectrum.

On Monday campers sampled chocolates at Li-Lac Chocolates, the oldest chocolate house in Manhattan, and even got to take some home! The next day we visited SweetGreen restaurant where our gracious hosts not only taught campers about eating the rainbow but also sent everyone home with a colorful salad of their own creation. Campers ventured to the beautiful New York Botanical Garden for a visit to the Family Garden on Wednesday, each returning with a basil plant to care for this summer. And yesterday, these 6-10 year olds got their hands dirty weeding and digging for composting worms at the Battery Urban Farm.

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Practicing meditation and mindfulness with Jessica

Amidst a busy schedule, we still found time for pause at our weekly yoga session in the park with instructor Ginger Merritt and during a special visit from mindfulness coach Jessica Li Phillips.

After creating and eating a colorful lunch of rainbow stir-fried rice on Tuesday, Jessica asked our campers about the importance of cooking with a thoughtful, positive attitude.

One of our six-year old campers shot up his hand and responded:

“When the love and the happy thoughts go into our food, we get the love and the happy thoughts – and it makes us look on the bright side!”

Thanks to our campers, guests, counselors, and partners in the field for an inspiring first week!